10/25/12

Ride In 10/25: tl; dr Congo

Weird weather. It felt like fall but covered in an wet electric blanket. I wore shorts and a short-sleeve shirt. They proved adequate.

The mystery squeak/squeal is back. Or was back, but then it left. It's entirely possible that my Brompton is powered by a very small mouse that lives in the bottom bracket. Summer, and the long grass is a snare drum.  At 11th and P, I determined that the squeak/squeal only occurred when I rode in one of the gears. I then did two things: I stopped riding in that gear and I look intently at the cog, using my telekinetic powers and eye lasers to, I don't know, fix it or something and afterwards, in spite of my lack of telekinetic powers and eye lasers, when I switched back into the gear, it didn't squeak again. That is, until after I got to work and rode the bike from the building that house my locker to the building that houses my computer. Both buildings house other things. It would be wasteful otherwise. The bike squeaked again (like we did last summer?), so I spent some of my lunch time examining the thing and trying to clean the gunk and I hope to have a quiet ride home.

Ran into Dave and Kid O once again today and we rode along the Pennsylvania Avenue cycle track for a block or two before we exited the lane to take to the sidewalks and then ride past the Navy Memorial metro station and through the big plaza. I rode along with them because so long as anyone is heading north and west, the general directions of my morning commute, I don't mind diverting from my route. Also, because I like chatting. We chatted for a while while we rode and chatted more on E Street near the entrance to the parking garage of the building where Dave works. Among the things we chatted about is this planned street action on Friday morning, which unfortunately, I won't be able to attend. I didn't count, but I'd estimate that during the time we talked, maybe 15 cyclists rolled into the garage. Could've been higher. Afterwards, I rode E to 11th, passed the temporary traffic cluster that is 11th and H (the H stands for hellacious) and then continued on my way, watching the even-more cyclists than usual stream south on the popular bike route. It was nearly 9 and I'm not normally this close to downtown at this time, so I had no idea that the bike volume would be so high. Lots of bikes.

I did the thing with the eye lasers at P and then turned left onto R and fell in behind a group of other people on bikes and paced myself accordingly. There's a pace at which you can ride to get from 16th Street through Dupont Circle, but if you aren't willing to maintain that pace or don't get a fast start, it's not going to happen and then there's no reason to rush. I see no need to ride extra hard in order to wait longer at a red light than I would have otherwise.

I'm still learning how to ride with a messenger back on my back. I've mastered riding with a monkey on back, but that's not quite the same. Today, my lunch, the last of the leftover lasagna, was in a glass container (Note: not a mason jar) that dug into my bag and I tried to make some adjustments while riding and that mostly worked, but I think what I'm going to invest in is some bike-specific chain mail because that is the practical thing to do with Renaissance Fair season coming up.

Great slog up Mass today, both to and after Wisconsin Avenue. I suggest that DDOT add a red light camera at the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin.There's a no turn on red sign that is consistently ignored. DC could get some $$$ (oh yeah, and safety).

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